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Back in HS, I had a great class called " Outdoors" . I loved it. It covered the whole spectrum of the outdoors. 

One of the things we learned was outdoor survival. 


So we had to make a survival kit that fit into a metal Band-Aid box. We got graded on how many essential items that we could fit into it. Also got extra points for some not as essential item that might fit. 


This was in the day before cell phones, gps, internet. We used to have a dime in the kit, so if you made it to civilization you could call someone on a pay phone.


I try to keep it small and light enough to fit in my backpack. I don't carry always. If I'm going to be detecting near my truck. But for more remote locations, a MUST. ! 


I carry in my "survival kit" some essentials ...


Waterproof matches, lighter, knife, parachute cord, mirror, whistle, gps, emergency space blanket, poncho, flashlight/headlamp,signal mirror, water purification pills. 


You can never go under prepared into the backwoods or desert.


So what would you add to the list ?

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Looks like you have the essentials but I'd add/change a couple of things.


Add a compass with mirror and know how to use it.


If you're way out in the boonies: a Spot or DeLorme InReach or PLB.


I'd cut down on the pills and go with something like a Sawyer Squeeze.  Those pills are nasty and not really good for you.  The other purification methods can make life much more pleasant and you get access to water faster.  Personally I use a Steripen.  My headlamp and flashlight both use the same CR123s so I don't usually carry extras.  Pills are a good backup if you can stand them.  =) Besides, if I'm really out of the way I'll likely be using this in a "non-emergency" situation so I don't hump too much water.


I would swap the poncho for 2 heavy-duty leaf bags (garbage bags.)  Super useful for rain-gear, shelter, water collection, etc.


I don't carry matches + lighter, I opted for a Swedish firesteel and lighter.  I've been very happy with that switch.


I carry a small medical kit - couple advil, a couple bandaids, a couple sudafed, a couple benadryl, a couple "baby asprin" (81mg) etc.  Usually 2-4 pills each, tops.



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Usually working within a 5 mile atv ride from camp so 1st aid kit is #1 on my list.

Learned that the hard way a few years back. I'm a bleeder due to statins so one day I was working my pan and this one annoying blade of grass kept sweeping into the pan. I figured i'd just pull it, roots and all so I grabbed the blade and pulled. Apparently the roots were deeper than I though and the blade slid through my hand and ran a deep cut into 4 fingers.

I scrambled up to the atv and grabbed some toilet paper and a roll of duck tape for some makeshift bandages. 

I now have a well supplied 1st aid kit in my backpack and another in the atv.

Safety First!


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I don't carry a backpack when out prospecting, I carry all the essentials on the Rokon. Basically everything I need to comfortably spend at least a couple days (no matter what the weather) out in the desert if the need should ever arise. Since I'm no more than 1/4 mile or so from the bike at any one time, besides all the normal prospecting gear, I carry a fanny pack with some minor first-aid/survival stuff, a camelback full of iced tea, trail mix, beef jerky, a smoke grenade, and my SPOT.

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I would add, take a buddy with you. A minor injury could become a matter of life or death if you're alone, not so much if someone is there to get help or help you back to the vehicle. Oh, and I always carry a tealight(small candle), makes fire starting easier.

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  • 5 years later...
On 7/29/2020 at 1:35 AM, GraceWalsh said:

I wonder how many people have survival kit.

I have multiple, and always carry one in my car. I also have a specialized first aid kit/survival kit combo in my metal detecting equipment bag. It's more like a first aid kit with a few survival gadgets inside.

As for choice of equipment, I'd stick with name brand gear and avoid the no-name knock offs. I mean, if money was that tight where you had to choose between a low quality piece of equipment and nothing at all, I'll take the low quality stuff. But if you're going to do something you'll rely on with your life, buy some reasonably decent gear.

For flashlights, I'm thinking of companies like Pelican, Fenix, Surefire, Streamlight, Maglite, Underwater Kinetics and Princeton Tec.

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